Why can't one approach to psychology describe all human behaviour?

Essay by fordde January 2004

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Why can't one approach in psychology explain all human behaviour?

The aim of this essay is to define why one approach to psychology cannot explain the whole concept of all human behaviour. Five theorists have been chosen, each one has a differing view to psychology. This is to give a varied insight into the different approaches used to define all human behaviour. There are many different approaches within psychology, and all use individual methods to explain behaviour. Throughout this essay, I will attempt to deconstruct these differing psychological theories with a view to ascertaining the reasons why one approach would not be suitable, in isolation, to explain all human behaviour.

Psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud believe that all human behaviour is defined by the individual's internal conflicts between the three parts of the human mind. These there parts are: -

ID (the part of the mind that tries to satisfy basic drives that operate on the pleasure principle), EGO (the part of the mind that mediates between the ID and SUPEREGO, guiding behaviour to satisfy desires in a realistic way) and SUPEREGO (the part of the mind that represents ideals, morals and the conscience) parts of the personality.

In contrast, Behaviourists such as B. F. Skinner believe that changes in behaviour are the result of an individual's response to events (stimuli) that occur in their surroundings; that they learn how to deal with situations through natural reactions: for example blinking when dust gets in the eye. Humanists such as Abraham Maslow believe that a person has freedom of choice, self-determination and is responsible for their own actions. They have the power within themselves to determine how they behave. Cognitive Psychologists believe that the flow of information within the human body is the cause of behaviour. Neurobiologists believe that the biological...